Jeff Bezos inspires me to no end. The guy, who has a current network just north of $25 billion, first worked on Wall Street and did a great job in finance. One could have seen him easily stay there and be of great example of classical success.
But then he decided to create an internet startup. What did he do? He moved out of one of the most expensive cities with his wife to a cheaper city to get cheaper staffing costs and a much cheaper lifestyle so he could ensure the survival of the business.
This was, by his own account, one of the most important decisions he ever made for Amazon.com. He’s now worth, again, $25+ billion dollars and his company is still raking in an ungodly amount. It reminds me, if nothing else, to ask myself consistently if I am willing to make the hard and tough decisions so that my business can succeed.
And when I mean “succeed” this means that the success of the company or project or product or whatever may require you to leave so that you can let the company thrive. Most people don’t consider the possibility of leaving a company or venture so that the much bigger opportunity can be realized.
In fact, many companies persist with “key” figures, personalities, and leaders way too long – they should have been fired or they should have retired themselves years (decades) ago. The company has “aged” as they have and it hasn’t been a pretty picture.
Your lifestyle may/will take a hit if you decide to go all in on a risky venture and there’s no guarantee of success – but I believe the most innovative companies and the most successful products are born in the crucible of those tough questions and deep introspection.
To be sure, most will never enter those dark and murky waters to uncover the treasure within. They shall stand on the shores as distant observers (perhaps even voyeurs) thinking they’ve done it right by not risking. No, no, no, no, no – they’ve done it wrong.
(Interesting fact – he started Amazon.com when he was 30.)